FORT McCOY, Wis. -- Members of the Fort McCoy community turned out in large numbers to support Army Birthday events held at the installation throughout the day June 14.

The day featured a luncheon at Constitution Park, which included lunch and the cutting of the ceremonial cake. Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser and Pfc. Kourtney Buckner of the Ohio Valley District Veterinary Command Great Lakes Branch Fort McCoy Veterinary Food Services cut the cake. The Religious Support Office and the Recruiting Command provided the cakes for the ceremony.

Chesser said the cake-cutting and luncheon ceremony was held to honor the Army’s 236th birthday.

“Today’s Army is not the Army of your father or grandfather,” he said. “It is a world-class Army. Our Soldiers have the very best weapons systems, force protection equipment, training, leadership and medical care available.”

“America’s Army " Soldiers, Families and Army civilians " epitomizes what is best about America,” he said. “Their willingness to sacrifice to build a better future for others and to preserve our way of life exemplifies Army Values.”

Families play an increasing and important role in today’s Army by providing a support network for Soldiers. Chesser said the Army, including the leadership of Fort McCoy, strives to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their Family members as they make tremendous sacrifices to serve the nation.

Fort McCoy has served America’s Army well since its inception in 1909, he said. The installation has supported troops that have seen service in every major conflict since World War I.

Last year, the installation mobilized and demobilized 16,000 personnel. Since 2003, more-than 129,000 Soldiers, representing 2,518 units have mobilized or demobilized at Fort McCoy. The installation has been an integral element in supporting the force, he said.

In addition to the luncheon and cake cutting, the day’s events included a Commander’s Run, drive-through breakfast, and free car washes and free bowling at Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) facilities. More than 1,000 personnel participated in one or more of the day’s events. Fifty-two personnel out of a field of 107 runners beat the commander’s time in a race of approximately three miles and received a free T-shirt.

“Please remember to thank the commercial sponsors of the events,” Chesser said. “Without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to offer all the things you are enjoying here.” The sponsorships were a good example of the relationship and support between the installation and the surrounding communities as embodied in the Army Community Covenant.

Commercial sponsors for the events included: CASE Construction, Culver’s, Logistics Health Incorporated, Mathy Construction, USAA, Reinhart Food Service, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, CenturyLink, EconoLodge, Chippewa Spring Water, TCI, Harter’s Quick Clean-Up, Microtel, Oshkosh Defense, and R.I.A. Credit Union. No federal endorsement is implied.

An event to celebrate the Army’s birthday will be held in 2012, said Jobi Spolum, DFMWR Marketing director.

For more information about DFMWR events, visit the website or call the Events Hot Line at 877-864-4969 or 608-388-7400.

Page last updated Thu June 23rd, 2011 at 12:36